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Steve Perles (1975)

Senior Attorney/Founder, Perles Law Firm, P.C.


Steve Perles is the founder of the Perles Law Firm, PC, a law firm specializing in private litigation against state sponsors of terrorism which have included Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Libya. Additionally, the firm bring suits against large financial institutions that launder money for terrorist organizations.

Steve’s 40-plus year career has resulted in reparations for thousands of American victims of terrorism and their family members. In 1986, Steve took on the first successful case of its kind, pursuing a foreign sovereign for injury to a U.S. citizen. He represented Hugo Princz, a US passport holder enslaved in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau, in a lawsuit against Germany. He successfully worked with members of Congress to ensure that Mr. Princz and all other people held in Nazi concentration camps while U.S. citizens received compensation from the German government.  In 1996 the goal of Princz, to hold sovereign states accountable for gross violations of international norms, was codified as law when Congress passed the state-sponsored terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act. Steve brought the first case under this exception, Flatow v. The Islamic Republic of Iran, on behalf of the estate and family of a young woman murdered by an Iranian-sponsored terrorist attack in Gaza.   

Since that time, Steve has represented persons killed or injured in events such as the bombing of the LaBelle Discotheque in Berlin, the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar al Salaam, and the bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut. He also represents victims of contemporary acts of terrorism, such as the Syrian-supported assassination of an American diplomat in Amman, Jordan, the beheading of an American Journalist in Syria, and the Iran-sponsored killing of U.S. service members in Iraq.

Steve graduated from the University of Alaska in 1973, attended William & Mary Law School, and graduated in 1975.  Steve then spent seven years working for Senator Ted Stevens, Republican Whip and acting Minority Leader at the time, including as Senator Stevens’ legislative director during the Tehran Hostage Crisis.

Steve is on the International Council at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has two children and one grandchild.